Staffelter Hof – Oldest winery in Europe
It was founded when the king of Lorraine granted the Cistercians land on the Moselle. This is how the history of the company from the German town of Kröv unfolded, which in 2012 celebrated its 1150th anniversary. Its beginnings date back to 862, when the Cistercians established a vineyard on the property granted to them. They dealt with it for almost a thousand years – until 1804, when, under the decision of Napoleon, their land was taken away from them.
The confiscated vineyard was bought from the French state by a court official, Peter Schneiders. His legacy was taken over by his children and grandchildren. When the male line expired, the great-granddaughter Maria Schneiders married the winemaker Kilian Klein in 1894 – their descendants run the company to this day. They settled on a modest family business, skilfully responding to the challenges of the times. In 1960, they built a small guesthouse next to a 10-hectare vineyard, and in 2014 they obtained an ecological certificate for their wines.
Staffelter Hof is one of the most typical longevity companies. Genius inventors or fashion designers did not start businesses that lasted for several centuries. Almost only ventures satisfying the basic needs of customers had a chance to do so.